One woman, seven personalities

Insides Out!

Katie Rubin from the outside in.

Katie Rubin from the outside in.

Rated 4.0

Katie Rubin’s demons are both universal and unique. She’s a spunky survivor of multiple monkeys on her back, and she’s here to tell her tale. The local actress, who graduated with a Master of Fine Arts in acting from UC Davis, is presenting an engaging one-woman show at Sacramento Theatre Company’s small theater for the next two months.

The theme of 29-year-old Rubin’s autobiographical monologue Insides Out! is hardly new territory. Rubin relates her life as an insecure teen who begins to abuse alcohol and then discovers there isn’t much out there she can resist. Eventually, this smart overachiever becomes addicted to alcohol, food, sex, drugs and destructive lifestyles.

Frankly, there is little new in this oft-told saga of a life out of control: a downward spiral, hitting rock bottom, struggling out of the abyss and eventually embracing recovery programs and self-love. The details may be different for each person, but the sad story arc always seems the same.

What makes Insides Out! so unique is not the story, but its telling. Rubin narrates her life through conflicting internal characters who pull her in many directions. You have the optimistic and fun-loving Baby Katie, Sylvia the slutty flirt, the perfect monster, Hank the daredevil, the poet and the wise woman all battling for the soul of Big Katie.

Rubin embodies each of these inner spirits while maintaining a linear story. She breaks out of the static monologue with constant kinetic bursts while portraying the different characters, sometimes having dueling dialogues among the group.

Not all the characters are equally interesting. The precious poet overstays her welcome at times, but Rubin is always engaging. Though there are some deep valleys, Rubin never wallows in self-pity. She entertains while she describes her various debaucheries in college, Paris and New York. After each hour-long performance, Rubin stays for a question-and-answer session, which can be as revealing as the performance itself.